Secrets for Super Successful Business Owners – Nigel Botterill

On Wednesday night I had the privilege of watching Nigel Botterill, UK Entrepreneur and CEO of thebestof Franchise group present to 100 businesses in my hometown of Exeter. The tour of the country is called “18 Secrets that Super Successful Business Owners Know and Do…” – you can follow the conversation about the tour on the hashtag we created with thebestofexeter at #18secrets.

I’ve met Nigel a couple of times now but this time I was lucky enough to get an hour with him before the big event, discussing ideas and thoughts on business. I’ve written before about how important it is to ditch the negative people in your life and surround yourself with positivity and success – When you chat to someone successful like Nigel you can’t help but be lifted and ideas immediately start to flow – I was at the venue at 5ish and didn’t leave until 9:30pm – it felt like about an hour!

Now i’m not going to simply copy and paste Nigel’s points – that wouldn’t be cricket. However, from the 18 secrets, I’m going to share my big 3 takeaways from the night.

1). “Making the jump from ordinary income to big income business means you need to make the jump from ‘doer’ of the business to ‘marketer’ of the business.” How true – if you’re stuck in the business doing the work on a daily basis, how can you be out promoting it and taking it to the next level? I’ve focused on this quite a lot in my own business in the last year and we’ve certainly reaped the rewards. I’ve built a great team around me who are able to deliver the product, while I market the business. A friend of mine (Richard Carpenter) uses the analogy of driving a car being like running a business: You start by driving the car yourself, taking it in whichever direction you want. The key is to move yourself from the front seat to the back seat and be driven around while you simply direct where you want to go. 🙂 Although I’m being a bit sneaky by putting two tips into one, Nigel also pointed out that we should all concentrate on our marketing first thing in the morning (pref before anyone else gets into work) – a great piece of advice in my opinion and something I’m going to try and focus on over the next few months.

2). Your most valuable asset in business is your database! Your database is critical to your success if you’re going to make it big. Build it at every opportunity, get in contact with your customers regularly, send them something, make them an offer, give them a reason for coming over or for you to go and see them. There are loads of studies about how much easier it is to sell to your current client base than a new one yet many of us get caught in the trap of trying to pour more and more in the top of our funnels while not looking after the people who have already shown they trust us and are willing to spend their hard-earned with us! Absurd when you think about it! Your database makes it easy to keep in contact – go back and work out a plan for it today. (*If it’s email marketing then get in touch with my team at Optix because they offer an amazing service there – plug over*) I particularly loved this sentence from the presentation:

“It’s not your customer’s job to remember to do business with you….it’s your job to remind them”

3). Commit to learning. No successful businessperson got to where they are sitting on their backside watching TV. Many of these people are continually learning, all day everyday. They have huge libraries of business books, they are like sponges for information. Are you? Do you go home and put the TV on or do you read a business book and learn something new about your industry, competitors or other successful people? This last year I’ve spent time building my library of books, especially in the areas of business success and sales. Here are a few that I’ve read recently which I’d recommend hugely (affiliate links):

The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

Think & Grow Rich

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

What Would Google Do?

Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a Yes! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success

Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships

And thanks to a friend Julian Summerhayes who kindly gave me the following book which I can’t wait to read this week:

The Go-giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

By the way, here’s the great news for any of you who hate reading (I actually fall into that bracket myself believe it or not) – Check out – A great site which you can subscribe to and download new audio books/mp3s to your ipod/iphone/mp3 player and catchup with all the great stuff above while on the move 🙂

So those were the three big take aways from my night at 18secrets – do you agree with these? Do you have some killer tips to share? Let’s discuss…

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  1. Julian Summerhayes on 14th May 2010 at 2:19 pm


    I wish I could have been there. It sounds super awesome. Thank you for the mention. I have sent Bob Burg a copy of your blog post just to let him know he has another potential fan.

    Best wishes

    • Banksy on 14th May 2010 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Julian – You would have loved the energy of Nigel – worth getting to see next time he is around 🙂

  2. Solomon Brown on 14th May 2010 at 2:34 pm

    1) If you leave the driving to someone who’s not very competent, you may crash, or find that the other passengers would rather get a lift with someone else!

    2) Some business owners would consider their staff to be their most valuable asset.

    • Banksy on 14th May 2010 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Solomon,

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment – really appreciate that. I agree that a caveat to the driving analogy is that you must find the right people around you. This is essential and before passing anything on, you must be 100% sure can trust the chosen staff. In response to your second point, I would agree that staff are up there (In my business they are the drivers – I have some quality people pushing Optix forward) – I think the point that Nigel was trying to make was that staff do come and go whether we as business owners like it or not. Your database is something you build over time and using it is critical to the success of the big business seeker….

      Thanks for participating 🙂

  3. Lex on 14th May 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the details Banksy…really great esp considering I had a ticket but had to cancel at the last 🙁

    Marketing in the morning is the best way for sure


    • Banksy on 15th May 2010 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Lex – shame you couldnt make it at the last moment. Im sure Nigel will be back again at some point soon so be sure to catch up with him then 🙂

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  5. Kris on 15th May 2010 at 10:56 am

    Hi Al,

    Great post 🙂

    I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend. I picked up so many action points (some of whch I have started implementing already) and, like you, felt like the entire event only lasted a couple of minutes!

    – Kris

    • Banksy on 15th May 2010 at 5:42 pm

      Great stuff Kris – be keen to hear what your key takeaways were from the 18secrets. Which ones are you going to action first?

  6. Ben Dider on 15th May 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Hey, great post Banksy, It was a great evening and you have pulled out some top aspects. I am also a big believer in surrounding yourself with positive people who are going somewhere! One of the biggest things I got out of the event was simply feeling that there is everything to play for and all the opportunity in the world out there.

    As you recommend Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ one of the best points I got out of the book is investing in specific knowledge – Nigel’s points here about a commitment to learning complements it wonderfully and has reminded me how important it is to keep to take the time and make the effort to continue to read and research. Thanks again – great post!

    • Banksy on 15th May 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks Ben for a really thoughtful comment – Great to hear you’ve read Nap Hill’s book too. It’s all too easy as a business owner to get caught up in the day to day and not find any time for the research and learning.

      I heard a couple of guys at the event say that nothing Nigel said would apply to their business! Unbelievable! I’ll put money on them not being around for long, Nigel showed us all that you make the difference yourself….its all about the attitude… 🙂

      Thanks again for commenting 🙂

  7. Andy Bricknell on 15th May 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I have been following the comments that everyone has been making about the event. Sounds like it was a pretty good evening. Wish I had known about it earlier.

  8. Dickie Armour on 16th May 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Banksy,
    It sounds like I missed a great event!
    You are going to love “The Go Giver”!! It is such a great book and talks about know-like-trust and also about increasing the size of your network.
    I recently joined which is a great business breakfast network with over 220 groups right across the UK. I highly recommend it as a great way to increase your business connections, both locally and nationally.
    It’s all such simple stuff really, and yet most businesses aren’t doing the simple stuff, myself included!
    I love the marketing point – spot on that we should all spend more time working ON our businesses.
    And loved your list of books. I too have been on a journey of discovery this year and my reading list just grows and grows!
    You can see some of them on My Reading List on my LinkedIn profile:

    • Banksy on 17th May 2010 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks for dropping by Dickie – starting to look forward to the next Likeminds now 🙂

      Ive been to a 4networking event before actually and had a good time – I like the format. I was in BNI for almost 9 years so the ‘givers gain’ philosophy is fairly well ingrained in me 🙂 I’ll definately check out your reading list – Im building my wishlist on audible everyday 🙂

      Thanks again for spending the time to comment – it means a lot

  9. Jonathan on 17th May 2010 at 9:49 am

    Good post, Al. Great summary of the night and interesting to see your ‘Big 3’.

    For me – and this is a personal one – the key message was IMPLEMENTATION, backed up by this great statement:
    “Most business owners are world class at getting ready”.
    Planning is vital – and I enjoy that part – but it’s worthless unless you actual DO IT. Do the thing you have been planning.

    And one more that I think is really important, especially for small and medium size businesses, is: Think big.

    Nigel quoted Donald Trump: “I think big, most people think small. This gives me an advantage.”

    Whatever size business you are, you can always push those targets further. And not just a little bit. Think big.
    “Most people don’t fail because they aim too high and miss. They fail because they aim too low and hit”.

    So with that in mind, what can we achieve this week!

    • Banksy on 17th May 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Hey Jon, getting three from the 18 was particularly difficult and to be honest I’d probably write a different 3 depending on what mood I was in on the day 🙂

      I love the ones here that you’ve reminded me of. I made loads of notes that evening and plan to look over them regularly and then work out what I can action – as you say, too many of us think these things are great but never do any of them….

      In terms of what I plan to achieve this week – im on hols so laying about, downtime and creative thinking for my businesses are all on the agenda 🙂

  10. Sophy Norris on 17th May 2010 at 1:15 pm


    Really interesting summary and useful too…

    I just thought I might add something to watch which exemplifies one of your and Nigel’s points (I hesitate to do so after your TV comments as I learnt this by watching TV -but I guess what you do with the information and how you process is the key here!). A case history in action if you will.

    Anyway – there is a new show on Monday’s 9.00pm on BBC with retail GENIUS Jo Malone, and billionare entrepreneur Nick Leslau – in which they mentor people into getting their businesses from the kitchen table to the high street (her own business path!). It is called High Street Dreams.

    Last Monday she mentored a young couple who had an organic burger business (Muddy Boots) and their single biggest issues was moving from making the burgers (1000 a day!!!) and selling them from market stalls to marketing the business and turning it into a brand (their dream is to be a nationwide brand -impossible if you only sell via farmers markets). This was a huge moral and control leap for them- but in the end is one they made, withough losing the core values and quality of their business. It was an interesting journey to watch them through.

    The lesson is a good one – and I think watching the show is useful and inspirational. It is still on iplayer and worth a watch.

    • Banksy on 20th May 2010 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks Sophy – SOunds like a great series, I’ll make sure I set the VCR (LOL) to record that – or perhaps I’ll drop in on iplayer as you suggest… Thanks for commenting on my blog, it means a lot for me that you took the time to stop by. 🙂

  11. Thom Smith on 13th July 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hi There,

    Just had a quick read of the comments and it seems like lots of you are interested in listening to Nigel.

    For those that are interested he is running a webinar tomorrow evening (Wed 14th July) at 6pm. It covers very similar topics to those covered at the event in Exeter.

    If you would like to register you can here The webinar should last around 75 mins. Sorry the notofication is so late however I only stunbled across this blog a few minutes ago.

    • Banksy on 15th July 2010 at 7:00 pm

      Sorry Thom, not sure I got to the comment in time – hope you keep reading though as mentions of Nigel’s other events will almost certainly pop up from time to time 🙂

  12. Christina Jones on 8th February 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Banksy,
    Great blog post – I think the point on marketing being the first thing you do in the morning is great. Lately I’ve been so busy marketing for other people that I’ve found it hard to find time for myself, so I’m going to clear the decks first thing in the morning to focus on myself.

    • Banksy on 9th February 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Hi Christina,

      I think we’re all guilty of that if I’m honest. It’s very easy to leave one’s own business when you get caught up in the day to day of office life. 8-9am is a great time for me to get my head down and do some work 🙂

      Hope it helps – thanks so much for taking the time to comment

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